Every addict has a reason for why they started drinking or using drugs. Some people abuse alcohol or drugs as a way to escape from their problems, reality, or even because they’re bored or curious. The term “partying” is used by a lot of younger people when they describe their drug use, almost like partying is a hobby or a leisurely pastime. Sometimes, teenagers and young adults go looking for a “good time” by taking drugs to stave off their boredom. However, drugs and alcohol are never worth the mere moments of euphoric intoxication they provide. Boredom can be a highly motivating factor for some people, including actor Charlie Sheen.
“It tends to do with boredom,” Sheen explained. “It’s about wanting to make things better – whether it’s real or imagined. “I was sober for five years a long time ago and was just bored out of my tree. It’s inauthentic; it’s not who I am.”
Most people look forward to an after work or after school hobby or pastime. This could be something simple, like going to the gym or a pottery class. However, some people look at drugs and alcohol as their favorite hobby. They use drugs and alcohol to get high and party and to avoid boredom.
This article breaks down different reasons and motivations behind youth drug use. The author of the article, Dr. Sack, describes different reasons for drug use and he also cites a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. This study found that as many as 78% of teenagers abuse alcohol and another 40% had previously used drugs. While Dr. Sack provides multiple reasons and motivations, he also focuses on stress and boredom. High levels of stress places teens at great risk for drug use and teens are twice as likely than their peers to smoke, drink and use illicit drugs according to another study by The National Center on Addiction & Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University. Stress is on one end of the spectrum and boredom is at the other end.
A teenager with some down time may look forward to using an intoxicating substance as a release. Stress, free time and boredom are a concoction that creates the opportunity for some teens to try alcohol and drugs. This article discusses how parents can reduce the chances of their teenagers using drugs by not allowing their children to get too stressed, by keeping them active, and by controlling how much disposable cash they have. The article cites another survey completed at Columbia University which found that about half of teens are at risk for substance abuse if they are subject to too much stress, frequent bouts of boredom, and if they have too much spending money.
Stressed teens find ways to both unwind and even alleviate their boredom by taking drugs or using alcohol. Parents who are active in their teen’s life are able to help their teen avoid boredom and reduce stress in a healthy way. Boredom is not an excuse to abuse drugs and alcohol, especially for a teenager. However, drugs and alcohol present an opportunity for a person to quickly escape reality.
Unfortunately, many teenagers and adults start out experimenting with drugs or alcohol and that experimentation can turn into a full-blown addiction. Through rehab, the recovering addict is able to learn how to have fun without turning to drug or alcohol abuse.